Google Sprayscape is a fascinating way to create VR-like 360 degree images with your Android phone

Google has a new Android app and it is very unusual and nothing like you have seen before. Sprayscape is a sort of camera app for your phone, but it is unlike any other camera app you have seen.

It is hard to decide whether Sprayscape is genius or a dud, it is certainly different.

Google describes it as a ‘Perfectly imperfect VR-ish camera.

The Sprayscape name obviously comes from the fact that you sort of spray paint your photos. No, this is not a painting app and what you spray is whatever the camera is pointing at. Sort os airbrushing reality onto a blank canvas.

When the app is started the screen is black apart from a few icons and grid. A few brief instructions are displayed to get you going.

Unlike other camera apps, this one does not show a preview and you cannot see what the camera is pointing at. You cannot perfectly frame the scene or the subject and you just point the phone in the general direction that you want to take a phone and then press the screen.

An oval shaped live image appears on the screen and when you lift your finger or thumb it sets the image. If you move the phone around, it paints the image onto the screen.

 Google Sprayscape app for Android phones Google Sprayscape app for Android phones

You could press and hold and turn through 360 degrees and capture everything around you. It tends to be a bit blurry and it is not like taking a panorama. It is more like painting with video than taking a photograph.

You can point the camera in any direction and paint over the black screen. You can paint over bits already painted too. The size of the brush can be selected and there are several sizes from large to small.

The idea is that you build up a sort of panorama, but panorama doesn’t really describe it. It’s weird.

When you are done with the photo painting, the finished scape as is it called, can be shared or saved. There is an option to get a sharing link and there is a built in scapes library and viewer.

Select a scape and it is displayed on the screen. You can point the camera in any direction to see the image in a sort of VR-like manner. You can even use Google Cardboard.

 Google Sprayscape app for Android phones Google Sprayscape app for Android phones

I have seen camera apps that stitch together lots of photos to create 360 degree panoramas that you can view from any angle and look up and down, but Sprayscape is fuzzy, blurred, and distorted.

This is not really a flaw and it is intended to be a feature. It sort of sprays and smudges and paints over blank canvas and previously painted areas. In the hands of an expert, it could probably be used to create something artistic and fascinating to view. In my hands the results are a complete mess.

Sprayscape is a Google experiment. There is no telling whether it will be a hit or a miss with people and if it does not work out then it might disappear from the Google Play Store. Grab a copy while you can.

Developers can also get the source code on Github, see Google's site.

Title: Sprayscape
Price: Free
Developer: Google
Version: 1.0
Android: Varies with device
Size: Varies with device
Verdict: Possibly an interesting way to shoot unusual VR-like scenes